As much as I wanted to get back to normality, my job no longer had the desire it did before. I could not go back that job, or see my friends with their babies. Not yet. Time would heal me, but I was not ready to see them, and they understood that. They rang, we talked, cried.
It was days before we heard the news of Richard being sent to jail for twenty years, but would most likely only serve half of it. We knew he would, and more women came forward, another five, making it a total of eight. We were sure there was more out there, but he was locked up for his crimes now. I was safe, we were all safe.
I now had one more thing to get through, and that was my daughter’s funeral. I was unable to deal with any of it, but Ben and his parents had. The day of the funeral the results arrived, but neither of us dare open it. Today it was not important, today was our chance to say goodbye to our daughter, we had named her Olivia, and dressed her in clothes that were brought by Ben’s parents brought her.
We did not see her again, but had her name in flowers in the car with her. I did not want to wear black; we were not going to be sad, not anymore, after today we would move forward. I would never forget her, I had one picture of her. It was not the best image, but it was all I had. We had.
So many people turned up to say their goodbyes; we hugged, cried and watched her tiny coffin be laid to rest. It was a day that no mother should have to go through. We still had one thing to get through once we arrived home. The results. Who was Olivia’s biological father.
The envelope was in my hand, I could not open it, and handed it to Ben. He tore it open, with trembling fingers. He read the results, and the look on his face told me the news I had wanted. She was ours, not his, but he had taken her from us. He folded the letter away and held me close. Today was the end of that chapter in our life, tomorrow we started anew.
Tomorrow, everything would look different, at least that is all we could hope for. I was in love with Ben, and he loved me, we would get through each day one at a time.
New life, new job, and new family, I had so much to look forward to.